I'll be in Obama-overload mode today and tomorrow, organizing volunteers for the president's first visit to Mad-town in two years, blogging the debate while having ONE measly (large) Wisconsin beer amongst fellow Badgers at the University of Wisconsin's Memorial Union. Then, off to collect media clips for the campaign, who I am quite literally moonlighting for in the most hectic of campaign seasons. Tomorrow, the Big Event, and what timing! I know the Prez loves it here in Dane County, and not just because we have and will deliver the state to him (and with any luck, Tammy Baldwin). Then, even more work for me over the weekend, right through election day. Here is the staging for the president's visit tomorrow (taken at 6pm):
Enough about me… this event should be fun. Romney is set to “fact-check” the president, which is akin to the replacement refs from the Seattle game working a Super Bowl replay booth. Obama will simply try to keep his answers short, while avoiding Romney’s attempts to piss him off.
A Wisconsin professor points out that debates don’t usually swing the polls much, but the downside for a major flub tonight is much greater for Romney, whose margin of error in the electoral college is slim. But, I believe Mitt has bottomed out recently, and polls will be tightening up again. If they do so this week, the conservative media will have their victory, whether it’s due to the debate or not.
Both candidates would be wise to play it safe tonight, but the Romney camp is telegraphing that Mitt will have an aggressive style, barreling into the president with hackneyed and tired old talking points and insinuations. Expect Obama to have practiced some political judo moves in preparation. Also expect some Republican “new facts,” which are used as shiny objects to change the subject and distract the audience. When (or if) such facts are checked out, they usually don’t check out.
Look for some of my fact-checking on both sides after the debate! But mostly, I’ll be giving crowd-reaction from Bill O’Reilly’s favorite Midwestern liberal bastion.
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7:50 pm: Smattering of applause when channel changed to PBS...
8:04: Applause in the room with intros. Some bias here in the room, but respectful so far...
8:05: Smattering of applause for cheap line by prez, wishing Michelle Happy Anniversary "sweetie" FLOTUS is looking gooooood tonite (as youze)
A laugh for Romney on the anniversary joke
8:10pm: A nice cheer in the room for student loan help
8:12: ZINGER ALERT: Romney says middle class "buried," thanks Joe Biden for leaving the door wide open there.
Romney says Lehrer is wrong about his taxes, glossing over with suspicious speed. NEXT!
8:14: ZINGER ALERT: Romney accuses Obama of not opening enough public effing lands for energy exploration, while acknowledging that Obama has been a boss at opening private lands
ROMNEY: "I LIKE COAL."
Obama: "We do best when the middle class does best"
Obama hits on $5 trillion in tax cuts, $2 trillion in military spending in Romney budget.
Romney says everything Obama just said about his budget is wrong.
ZINGER ALERT: MITT COMPARES OBAMA TO HIS SONS. AND JOSEF GOEBBLS (well, that's a stretch)
POLITICAL JUDO ALERT: Is Romney being forced to deny that he is for tax cuts? Herly ferking shirt...
8:17: Romney doddering draws some groans, laughs
Did they just share a smile? Or shit-eating grin?
8:19: Laugh on Obama's description of Romney's plan "Nevermind," after 18 months of saying one thing, now denies it.
Whoops for Clinton surpluses, Millionaires and Billionaires as small businesses, nice reaction to Trump comment. Under Romney Trump considered "small business." Applause for Obama policy statement
Romney sticking up for richest big businesses because they employ people, while still calling them "small businesses"
8:23: Obama keeps hitting on $5 trillion in tax cuts, $2 trillion in new defense spending
Laughs and groans at Romney's douchebaggery in dictating debate format to Lehrer
8:27: Audience howling at Romney's awkward unsolicited comments on liking PBS, Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. Zinger Alert?
8:31: Obama goes over time... FAIL?
Obama shaking head at Romney's accusation of Obama's shortcoming on deficits.
NEW FACT: Romney says Obama raising taxes, kills jobs, National Federation of Independent Businesses says Obama costs U.S. 700,000 jobs
NEW FACT: Spain spends 42 percent of econmy on government, Romney don't wanna be no Spain
8:35 Obama: Big Oil gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare, crowd laughs at corporate jet statement
Mitt responds line by line.
NEW FACT Obama provides $90 billion in a year in "breaks" to green energy, "50 years" worth of 2.8 billion in cuts to oil???
NEW FACT: No "break" in shifting jobs overseas.
I hear a boo in the crowd for Mitt's mention of Tommy Thompson
Romney hails "brilliance of states"
8:40: Social Security: Obama claims $716 billion in savings, spending it on lowering prescription drug costs and savings "in the system," says no major change needed to save program.
Romney says no immediate changes to Soc. Sec.
Building laughter at Romney comments on implication that middle aged might have to worry about Soc. Sec., "Oh I just got an idea"
NEW FACT: Medicare Advantage in trouble?
Romney: btw, we can, implement a new program
Laughter applause at Obama comment "If you're 54, 55 you might want to listen." After Romney correction on who he will cut Medicare for.
8:47: Laughter and applause for Obama "fondness" of term "Obamacare"
NEW FACT: Romney claims "no new $6,000" charge for future seniors? Or is he talking about current seniors? Says he would want a private plan.
Obama acknowledges voucher program puts seniors at financial risk, says AARP agrees and supports his plan
Audience incredulous at Romney interruption, howling at Lehrer reaction
NEW LIBERAL FACT: Romney says regulation essential
NEW FACT: Dodd-Frank classifies banks as "too big to fail"
Audience erupts in applause at Lehrer response to Romney "Lets not!"
Positive response from Obama claim that Romney wants Wall Street deregulation
NEW FACT: "Qualified Mortgages" don't provide enough regulation in Dodd-Frank
Romney cares about housing? Found laughable.
Romney cares about a couple in Appleton, WOW
NEW FACT: Obama raised insurance for families by $2,500 instead of his claim of lowering in by the same amount.
Obamacare has killed jobs? DRINK LUCIANO;)
9:00: Audience members raise hands at mention of pre-existing conditions, WILD applause at Obamacare's protection of young people put on parents' healthcare until 26th birthday AND at mention of Romneycare/
NEW FACT: Massachusetts said no to Obamacare, but Obama pushed it through anyway with a simple 60 vote majority?
NEW FACT: Unelected board will decide what treatment you get under ACA (not really a new claim). Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic don't do that
Obama says Romney plan is already law: Insurance Co. cannot deny 90 day pre-existing condition?
9:10: Obama hits Romney on lack of specifics. Did Obama call Jim Lehrer Bob?
Laughs at Romney's secretive plans "because they're too good."
Howls and groans at Romney interruption of Lehrer
NEW FACT: Romney wants to bring down tax burden on middle income taxes, is supportive of Simpson-Bowles
ROMNEY: ROMNEYCARE IS A MODEL FOR NATION "STATE BY STATE" Herly ferking shirt
9:15: Cheers at Obama support for land-grant universities and teachers
Some sarcastic cheers for Romney's praise of religious freedom and pursuit of happiness. One could assume people are playing on right-wing religious intolerance and denial of gay rights.
9:20: Obama claims education could be slashed 20% in name of Romney tax cuts.
Cheers for cutting out banker "middlemen" when government loaning money to students. Cheers for Obam criticism of "borrowing $ from parents"
ZINGER: ""Mr. President, you're entitled to your own opinion and your own house and ..."
NEW FACT: Obama is the one picking winners and losers.
Groans as Romney plays up grading schools and punishing them, allowing them to languish if they already suck
Romney pressed on issues and goes off on first day, Middle East, and stuff?
9:25: Howls, applause at Obama repeal of DADT, claim that Romney bows to extreme elements
9:30: Round of applause for Obama close, a few laughs at Romney statement that he cares about America
NEW (OLD) FACT: Romney will create 12 million jobs
again with the $2,500 claim, $716 billion Medicare cut, cuts to military under Obama
POST-MORTEM: I am getting the drift that politicos think Romney won. This feels a little like those debates that Bush "won" in 2000. I'm not buying it.
Romney: "I like coal." Brilliant.
I will give it to Romney that he didn't seem as incompetent as before, but he is taking all sides of every issue. He cannot be pinned to anything, even his record and his campaign speeches. He's all over the place.
Both candidates proved to be good debaters. The difference: Romney is not trustworthy.
If you think Obama is bad for jobs, we gotta go back to the math. I know even some Republicans out there like Bill Clinton now and appreciated the numbers